Supreme Court Won't Hear Rick Scott's Drug-Testing Case
Rick Scott has apparently never met a person he doesn't want to test for drugs. Whether welfare recipients or state employees, the governor has created quite the controversy throughout his first term by unleashing strict plans to drug-test Floridians -- only to see those plans challenged and derailed in court.
Well, today the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Scott's appeal of a lower court's decision that his plan to drug-test all state workers is unconstitutional.
In 2011, Scott had made an executive order that giving consent to random and suspicion-less drug tests would be a condition of employment for all state workers in Florida. The order was quickly challenged in court, and in May 2013 the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the order was unconstitutional. The court said it violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Scott appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, but today the body decided it would not take up the case. However, the justices did add that random drug-testing of some employees does not violate the Fourth Amendment. Those jobs include "certain safety-sensitive categories of employees -- for instance, employees who operate or pilot large vehicles, or law enforcement officers who carry firearms in the course of duty."
But the person who, for example, empties the trash in the governor's mansion can't be drug-tested without suspicion.
Labor groups are counting the decision as a win.
Scott's other drug-testing policy, the one that required testing of anyone who received public assistance form the state, has also been deemed unconstitutional by various courts and struck down in federal court. Scott's administration is still appealing that decision.